More Laud than Baxter: the Protestantism of 1662

“And the Church of England is Protestant too” – William Laud, then Bishop of St. David’s, later Archbishop of Canterbury.[1] Before the mid-19th century, to regard the Book of Common Prayer as part of an explicitly “Protestant” narrative would have been accepted as self-evident by Episcopalians and Anglicans.[2] A future Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Bancroft’s…

In Defense of Images

Dear Reader, Beloved in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it seems fitting to begin my poor discourse (in which nothing new can or will be said) by quoting the Anglican Doctor, the Reverend Richard Hooker: Think not that ye read the words of one who bendeth himself as an adversary against the truth which…

The Official Sermons of Anglicanism

How do we know what Anglicans believe? One crucial way is to look at the teaching contained in our foundational documents. These include the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. But less well-known than these are the two books of Homilies – published sermons for clergy to preach to their congregations in the early…

Reinventing the English Reformation

In twenty years’ time, Anglican enthusiasts will mark the bicentennials of three nineteenth-century libraries: the Wycliffe Society Library, the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, and the Parker Society Library.[1] The first is now predominantly associated with dissent, and therefore may not generate much interest among Anglicans, at least in North America.[2] But the latter two collections,…

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